Thomas Wright, ‘Reformation of the Right of Publicity’

Section I of this article discusses the law that allows for the transferability of individuals’ use of name and likeness in the right of publicity. The right of publicity is a tool that can be used for and against exploitation of one’s name, image, and likeness and provides a framework for this topic going forward. Section II will discuss the problem with student athletes, professional athletes, and celebrities negotiating the rights of their name and likeness early on in their career with no real appreciation of the value of current state of NCAA. Next, Section III proposes adding a statutory right to terminate the transferable right of publicity after five years. These two suggestions would work together to create better contracts for those who transfer rights before a proper valuation is given for those rights. This will allow for contractual continuation, renegotiation to pursue a more profitable deal, or termination of the transfer. Lastly, Section IV will argue for the implementation of protections by means of state or federal statutes. It is not enough to recommend that parties add these protections to their contracts. Instead, the protections need to be solidified by statute.

Wright, Thomas, Reformation of the Right of Publicity (2021), 9 Belmont Law Review 37 (2021), Belmont University College of Law Research Paper No 2022-4.

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